Garvit Bhirani | Mar 3, 2021 | 3 min read
In 2014, the residents of Kulyaka in Haryana’s Sohna Tehsil had urged the authorities to upgrade the primary school in their village to a high school. Seven years on, the demand remains unmet and the fear of children dropping out of education looms large.
This, they say, is a violation of the Right to Education Act, 2009. As per Section 6 of the Act, a neighbourhood should have a primary school (Class 1 to 5) within one kilometre of its limits and an upper primary school (Class 6 to 8) within three kilometres.
As for Kulyaka, it has a primary school till Class 5 and the nearest high school is at least 3.5 kilometres away, located in a village called Kherli Lala. In the absence of public transport, children have to walk for nearly an hour to the high school and an equal time to get back. The road they take is frequented by heavy and speeding vehicles, the parents point out.
Both the schools, which come under the Gurugram district, have resumed offline classes since last month.
The high school is located 3.5km away from the village of Kulyaka. Credit: Virender Mor
The absence of a senior school in the village is threatening girls’ education, in particular, says a concerned Tasleem Katariya, whose daughter studies in Class 6 in the said high school.
This January, he even wrote a letter to the Haryana Education Minister Kanwar Pal Gujjar and Sohna MLA Kunwar Sanjay Singh to look into the matter. “Since there is no transport from the village to the high school in Kherli Lala, girls [may] drop out from schools after class 5,” reads the letter in Hindi.
Munwir Khan is also a worried parent like Katariya and wants a high school to come up in the village at the soonest. “If the [Kulyaka] school gets upgraded, it will increase the interest of children in the village to study more, especially girls,” he says.
Katariya’s daughter Sahiba is a case in point. She says the upgraded school will allow juniors like her to seek help from their seniors in matters related to studies. Moreover, it will save time for the parents who used to drop their children at Kherli Lala in their vehicles in the pre-COVID days.
When 101Reporters approached Rao Vijay Pal, who is the Sarpanch of Kulyaka, he didn’t explain to us the reasons for the delay but assured us that he has sent a letter to the Sohna MLA. “I have also talked to the Block Education Officer [BEO] a few days ago on this matter and he’s told me that they are sending our file to [the Department of Elementary Education in] Chandigarh."
Meanwhile, in a letter dated February 26, 2021, Virender Mor, principal of the primary school of Kulyaka, has sent the details of classrooms and the current availability of land in the school to the office of BEO to plan the upgrade.
Looking at these developments, Mor is hopeful that their long-pending demand will be met this time — before the next academic year kicks off. “If the primary school is upgraded for secondary education, then children can study in the village easily, without having to travel far. This time, I have hopes that the primary school will be upgraded,” he says.
As for Katariya, who’s a soldier currently posted in Sikkim, he can’t wait for these words to come true. “I don't want my children to remain uneducated for such reasons. I want the children of this village to thrive in future,” he says.
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